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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
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A study in the journal Cancer Research appears to link capsaicin, a component of chili peppers, to skin cancer. This is a misinterpretation of the data, according to SuperSite Publisher Dave DeWitt, international authority on chili peppers and author of more than forty books about peppers, including The Healing Powers of Peppers. The study was focused specifically on the topical application of capsaicin, not on chili peppers as food. To quote the study itself, “capsaicin alone does not act as a carcinogen.”

Toxic Chemicals Caused Tumors, Not Capsaicin

Researchers at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, treated the skin of mice with a mixture of TPA and DMBA, two powerful and highly toxic tumor-producing chemicals. The mice were virtually guaranteed to develop skin cancer. Some were treated with a mixture of the chemicals plus capsaicin, and some were treated with capsaicin only.

While study results indicated that combining capsaicin with the chemicals “might promote cancer cell survival,” the report clearly stated that the control group of mice treated only with capsaicin “…did not induce any skin tumors…” In addition, the study repeatedly cited other research studies in which the anti-cancer properties of capsaicin were solidly demonstrated. A link to the full article can be found here.


By Jim McMahon

 

Paul PrudhommeAs one of America’s best-known chefs, Paul Prudhomme has been featured in dozens of prime-time television and cable programs, and has been the subject of many magazine articles. A best-selling author, he has written nine cookbooks and produced six cooking videos.  But Chef Paul is just as well known for his extensive line of Magic Seasoning Blends® – packaged dry spices, rubs, bottled sauces and marinades that can be found on major supermarket shelves throughout all 50 states of the U.S. and in 29 countries around the world.

Food-service and Food Processors

Located in the outskirts of New Orleans, Magic Seasoning Blends is also well known for its extensive line of distinctive seasoning products packaged for restaurants, institutional foodservice, food processors and co-packing operations, which combined represent 65 percent of the company’s total sales volume. Packaging ranges from one-quarter of an ounce to 50-pound bulk containers, with an emphasis on consistent quality.

Recipe R&D for Food Processors

Chef Paul and His SpicesOriginally set-up more than 25 years ago within the celebrity chef’s popular New Orleans restaurant – K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, it has expanded over the years into a every productive research and development kitchen, staffed by several chefs under the personal direction of Chef Paul, and has rolled out more than 10,000 recipes for herb and spice blends, creating custom flavor profiles.

“What is really great about herbs and spices, is that when they are balanced there are so many directions that you can go,” explains the Chef. “When one of our clients says they want a certain kind of chicken flavor, we will come up with four or five original samples for them to try. Then they pick out the one they want and we adjust it to their particular taste.”

To meet the increasing demand for its products, Magic Seasoning BlendsNew manufacturing facility recently consolidated its two separate manufacturing and warehouse operations into a new 125,000 square-foot facility.

“There is absolutely no end to developing herbs and spices,” says Chef Paul.  “And my real passion is to make something that is healthy and exciting for our customers.”

For more information on Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends, Inc., visit their website at www.chefpaul.com.

Jim McMahon writes on technology in food processing. He can be reached at jim.mcmahon@zebracom.net.



Ghost Face Killah Beer

Why brew a beer so hot that it melts taste buds and brings tears to drinkers’ eyes? To do something different. In a world full of pilsners, pale ales and porters, thinking a little outside of the box keeps things exciting at Twisted Pine Brewery. “Ghost Face Killah” ghost chile beer packs the heat of six different chiles, including anaheim (New Mexican), fresno, jalapeño, serrano, habanero and the infamous ghost chile (Bhut Jolokia). The beer will be released at the Snowmass Chili and Beer Festival, June 4-5.

At a staggering 1,000,000 Scoville heat units, the ghost chile pepper is twice as hot as the nearest Red Savina pepper.  This has earned the Bhut Jolokia certification as the hottest chile pepper in the world by the Guiness World Records.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Twisted Pine Brewing Company has been handcrafting beer since 1995. Read more about their other unique brews here.


Audubon's American TurkeyThanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday of the year.  Reasons?  There's no baggage associated with it, like religion, gift-giving, or dressing-up.  And it has all the things I love most about a holiday: family, good friends, food, drink, and football.  So, the feasting team here at the SuperSite is serving up the following Thanksgiving articles with recipes:


A Barbecued Thanksgiving, here.
Spiced-Up Thanksgiving Trimmings, here.
Holiday Sizzling Stuffings and Leftovers, here.
A Chile Lover's Mexican Thanksgiving, here.


2010 Scovie Awards Winners Posted!

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: Scovie Awards , new content

Scovie Awards logo

We have posted all the winners in the various categories of the 2010 Scovie Awards here.  Congrats to all the winners, and especially to Grand Prize--Tasting Division, New York’s Pleasant Valley Kitchen Company for their Sugar and Spice Sweet Sauce.  Despite the mild sounding name, the sauce won its division in the Habanero Hot Sauce category as well as the Grand Prize!  The top award in the Advertising and Marketing Division went to Toluca Gourmet for their Toluca Gourmet Salsa Casera packaging.  In about a week, we will be launching a new website devoted completely to the Scovie Awards and the business of fiery foods and barbecue.


Chipotle Flavors

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

I'm pleased to announce the publication of a five-part series devoted to chipotles--those many varieties of smoked chiles.   You can go here to start reading about--and cooking with--chipotles of all kinds.


Back in 1994-95, the big chile pepper story was that eating the pods caused stomach cancer.  We investigated this allegation and published this report.  Back  then I wrote, "Let's put this absurdity to rest right now.  Despite all the mass media hype and paranoia, there is not one bit of credible evidence linking chile peppers with causing any type of cancer.   Period."  Here is the full story.

Rick Browne Joins SuperSite

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: smoking , personalities , new content , grilling , books


Rick Cracks Up Gwyneth at the Great Grill-Off

Barbecue expert Rick Browne is teaming up with us here at the SuperSite to strengthen our coverage of grilling and smoking.  For the past seven years, Rick has produced and hosted "Barbecue America," which is shown on PBS and reaches 230 markets in the U.S.  A writer, photographer, pitmaster, restaurant critic and consultant, he is also a Doctor of Barbecue, holding an honorary Ph.B (Doctor of Barbecue Philosophy) bestowed upon him by the prestigious Kansas City Barbeque Society for his expertise and commitment to barbecue. He is the author of ten books, including the recently-released The Best Barbecue on Earth (Ten Speed Press).  Personally, I'm thrilled by this development because Rick, in a short period of time, has become a good friend of mine, and we share like views on a number of subjects.  "Peas in a pod," is how Lois Manno, our art director, described us.  Here are Rick's articles so far on the SuperSite:

 


Christmas in Yucatán

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: tasty travel , new content , holidays

Nancy Gerlach, who retired and moved to Mexico last year, continues her story about adapting to life in Mexico (has she un-retired? We can always hope):  "It hardly seems possible that another holiday season is upon us, but it is. I've got to admit it's hard to get into the spirit without cold temperatures and some snow, but here in Mexico the weather is like Christmas in Southern California...."  Story continues here.  Image is the malecón and the very long pier for cruise ships at Progreso, close to Chelem where Nancy and Jeff live.

Killer Bee Mustard

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

 You know you're going to like a guy when, asked how he got started in the honey business, he answers, "I started keeping bees because I drink."

Reed Booth, otherwise known as the "Killer Bee Guy," is a home-brewer and mead (honey wine) maker. More than fifteen years ago, after settling in Arizona, Booth was joking with his friend that he ought to have some bees on hand for the mead-and shortly thereafter, the friend, who just happened to be a bee inspector, called up to say that she had a bag of the bugs for him. And so, to Booth's surprise, it began.  Story continues here.


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